Happy New Year! :)
Now for my first rant of the year. LOL! I really dislike consumer church. I think the mindset has hurt us. I abhor what it does to Christians as it keeps the "me first" mentality alive and well. I don't think the church should be thought of as a Target, Walmart, or a Starbucks. The church is a house of prayer. The church is designed to glorify Christ through the declaration of His truth. The church is where true believers gather for biblical worship, prayer, teaching of the Scriptures, and to be sent out to impact the world with the glorious Gospel of Christ. Not some of the Gospel...all of it. Yeah...the sin and hell part too, with as much love as we can muster.
Instead, we have built many churches on the "what's in it for me" mindset. We market our churches like we are selling products. Don't believe me? Check the yellow pages. There has to be a program for everyone and a class for everyone, based on the thought that we must "give the people what the want." This is smart for the business owner but bad for the Church of Jesus Christ. Why? Because in the church, the customer is not king; Jesus is! Because of our consumer orientation, sadly, even Christ-followers have a hard time relating to each other unless we are consuming the same product or are in the same age/stage of life. That is not the pattern we see in the New Testament, where everyone came together! (See more thoughts on this here.) I've marketed this way too in the past. I'm so sorry Lord!
When did strong bible preaching, biblical worship, and prayer cease to be enough?
Meanwhile, secular humanism is now the dominant worldview in America. Only 4% of youth can be called Chrisitans. 70-88% of them are gone by the end of their freshman year in college. Family worship and bibilcal hospitality are largely things of the past. (Maybe because we are always at a church program!) Atheist books are on the bestseller lists, and 25,000 children will die today around the world due to prevantable causes. And we believers actually taking responsiblitity to preach the gospel, teach our children, or truly make disciples? Ha! Not without a program! :)
This kind of news is breaking my heart. Here is a good article that makes the point I'm trying to make: The Shift from the Consumer Church to Missional Church.
And here is an oldie but a goodie....